I love giving birth. And yes, I do get some pretty shocked reactions when I say that out loud! I love the science of labour – The psychology of labour. And guess what? I love giving birth. Why? Because I’m a hypnobirthing mummy. My hypnobirthing experiences have all been calm, relaxed, enjoyable and if I’m honest…rather exciting.
I wanted a short labour
But only with my first two births. By my third pregnancy I wanted a long labour! In fact, the moment we calculated our due date, I knew I wanted a long pregnancy and a really, REALLY long labour!
Get what you wish for
But long labour is not usually associated with hypnobirthing is it? That’s because hypnobirthing teaches you to relax and speed childbirth easily along – so short labours are quite common. But as a seasoned hypnobirthing mummy & hypnobirthing teacher I also know that a mother’s mindset & her expectations have their part to play in the way childbirth plays out.
Birth is all about Mindset
I started reading a blog on Instagram last week. A blog entitled ‘My childbirth experience will blow your mind’ (or similar…) Great! I thought. Someone who rocks birth, I thought! Amazing! I thought. But it wasn’t. It was a rant. I shan’t say anymore because if you are pregnant it’s just helpful to you. Because birth is all about mindset. How you think determines how you feel and how you feel determines the world around you. So anticipate the childbirth of your dreams!
In the words of Katherine Graves ‘Where the mind leads, the body will follow’. So if you expect to be scared – you will be. If you expect pain in labour you will find it. And actively listen to the horror stories then guess what you are setting yourself up for?! You may not know that you love childbirth yet. Or that you can set the pace of labour, but focus on the birth you want and guess what?
A Positive Birth is Born!
It’s the same with the length of labour. Katherine Graves is bold enough to suggest that when you focus on having a 2 or 4 hour labour that is what you will have. And from my experience, I agree!
For the birth of my first child, I just wanted calm, dignity and no epidural. During my second child’s birth I wanted to up my game (my competitive streak coming out!) I wanted ultimate relaxation, I wanted a faster birth. And baby had to arrive on her due date – whilst we had my baby sitting Sister In Law on hand. During my third child’s birth I wanted old style movie star grace, a lovely long (weekend) labour – again to fit in with childcare. And you guessed it…I got what I wanted…every time.
The first time you use hypnobirthing, it is a leap of faith. Everyone says “HypnoBirthing is wonderful!” But of course, when you can’t test it out first its natural to be sceptical! You are told to practice, practice, practice (and I strongly recommend that you do). But it’s completely human to have doubts….to wonder “Will hypnobirthing really help?” or “When push comes to shove (no pun intended) will I be able to do hypnobirthing?”
Have Hypnobirthing Faith
Hypnobirthing will be exactly what you want it to be. The more practice you put in, the closer to realising that expectation you become.
You can achieve whatever you want during childbirth. Because when you focus on what you want you are much more likely to achieve it. Of course, there are things you can’t control. You may want a waterbirth, a maternity unit birth, but like me, you may hit obstacles like the birthing pools all being occupied or the maternity unit being full. Despite any known or unexpected restrictions, you can still take control of your birth and make it your own. Exactly how you want it.
My LONGEST Labour
So…Third baby due just after Christmas, I wanted a long labour. Why? I wanted a long pregnancy; to enjoy and linger in my third gorgeous hypnobirth. This was to be the very best of my three hypnobirthing experiences. My second hypnobirth was going to be pretty difficult to beat, but I was determined. And not wanting my third child to be born too close to Christmas I wanted the birth day to be as far into January as possible. Once labour had started, I was even willing my baby to hold off & get past midnight!
There was another key factor that meant I wanted a really long labour.
The strangest of motivations!
My husband had ordered a smart phone. For a bit of birth photography. Leaving it just 3 weeks before the due date, he ordered his phone from a UK company – for a fast delivery. Sadly mind over matter doesn’t hold much weight with phone delivery times, especially over Christmas. The phone arrived just over 3 weeks later. So yet another reason to will myself into post dates. It became a case of ‘When your phone arrives I’ll have this baby’
My third hypnobirth was gorgeous . And I finally got my dream of a waterbirth. So third time lucky.
Your focus in the lead up to baby’s birth is a major factor in how your birth will play out. So never underestimate the importance of how you think and feel about labour. Shut out the negative nellies, the ones with horror stories & listen to the mothers out there who love childbirth. Listen to the hypnobirthing mummys & daddys, the positive birth peeps and the Mindful mamas and of course all of us hypnobirthing teachers. We are a growing tribe and we’re a tribe worth joining.